Community to require doggie DNA in poop crackdown

Community to require doggie DNA in poop crackdown

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A south Austin community is taking extreme measures to get dog owners to clean up after their pets.

Martha Ross' 12-year-old dog, "My Girlm" is mostly an indoor pet, but when she does need to go out, she takes care of her business in the backyard. So, Ross knows that she can't be to blame for any un-scooped poop found around her South Austin subdivision.

"I don't want to be pushed into something that I really don't have any part of," said Ross.

Recently, the HOA board at the Pointe in Onion Creek notified residents that dog owners would be required to pay $30 to have DNA taken from their dogs in order to know who is responsible for any poop that's not picked up around the gated community.

"I don't understand why we're having such a to do about dog poop," said Ross.

Her neighbor, non- dog owner Steve Round, agrees with Ross that this HOA rule crosses the line.

"When you're having a board meeting and the whole purpose is dog poop and whose dog poop it is by DNA and you have to pay for DNA, it's gone too far," said Round.

The residents we spoke with say when they're walking around the common areas of the neighborhood they rarely notice any dog poop. But in an email to residents, the HOA president says that not picking up after dogs is a big problem in the subdivision and DNA testing is the solution.

"People that aren't taking care of their dogs are creating a problem for everyone, including other dogs," said Patti Bunn with PooPrints, the company that collects the dog DNA samples.

The inside of the dog's cheek is swabbed to get the DNA, then it's sent to a lab and uploaded into the dog DNA database.

While this science may help keep communities free of dog waste, Ross doesn't want her pooch to be a part of it.

"I want to get along. I don't want to cause trouble, but I don't want to be forced to do something that I think, for me, is unnecessary," said Ross.

Ross was told if she did not comply with the DNA testing then she would be fined $250. For dog owners that do comply, they will be fined if a sample of un-scooped poop is matched to their dog. Once a poop sample is sent in, Bunn says it only takes five days to come back with a match.

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